Saturday, February 25, 2006

The winter of my discontent

For some reason, this has been an especially bad winter for health. I know this is true for me, but it also seems true for my friends, colleagues, and family. Right now I'm trying to recover from another bug. I've basically been on my back for the last 36 hours. URGH, I'm tired of this. Hence my discontent.

Carbon one went to the paint shop about 2 weeks ago. It was going to be ready for decals " a couple of days....". As of last Monday, it was to be ready " Friday morning..." I should probably note here that I'm trying a local garage & bodyshop. There's a good bike painter about an hour away, but his painting is part time and he's pretty backed up. So it seemed worthwhile to try and find someone who might be a little more focused in case I find some takers for my carbon frames.

The guys I chose have a real old fashioned auto shop. Their building dates back almost to the birth of automobiles. Except in the front and back doors, there are no windows - but the high doomed roof has a row of skylights. The brick walls are painted white, and the garage seems to go on and on, from the front office, the mechanical stalls, the paint booth, the bodywork stalls, and then garage's projects. The later include a couple of muscle cars, an antique Ford tow truck, the rebuilding of a used v-large (capable of pulling semi's) tow truck, and a couple undefined project cars (including an old Nash coupe).

Across from the paint booth, is a sort of a machinist shop. I say "sort of" because most of the machinery has a heavy layer of dust and doesn't seem to have been used for a while. I imagine that the right person could largely build their own body panels from scratch with the available equipment, which includes: Gas and Electric welders, a mid-sized metal lathe, an industrial drill press that must be 10-12' tall, work tables, anvils, and more.

The guys that run this garage can do just about anything imaginable with a car or truck, and tend to be fair and reasonable.

Anyhow, my frame isn't a big job for them, but I'd hoped that they would be a bit more responsive than what I've seen so far. URGH.

Frame 010106 is near to ready for paint. I've begun detail work and can have it ready with one good day's effort. But, I still have to build the fork. I'm going to start with a one built of Reynolds pre-raked blades (45mm) with a Henry James raked (3 degrees) crown. This shouldn't take too long either. So, maybe by next weekend it can go off to paint.

Next is Sarah's frame. I've decided to discard the first effort and start from scratch. There's really not much to save from that heavy (straight-gauged tubing) training exercise. Sarah is very excited about the idea of having a bike with her name on it. We're waiting for the rim and spokes. Short spokes are hard to find and our source is beginning to cut and thread their own which has lead to a delay in delivery.

Meanwhile, I just got a call from Joe. My DCS set is in. This is Dedacciai carbon tubes and lugs, allowing the frame dimensions to be customized a good bit. My question is to figure who to build this for. I can only test out so many of my frames at a time. So, I need someone else who might also pose a bit of a fitting challenge. Well, stay tuned and find out how that turns out.

That's it for now, I'm headed back to bed.

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